What I Did...
I'm responsible for the horrific deaths of Steven Parent, Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Sharon Tate, and Leno & Rosemary LaBianca; for my total disregard for their lives, for the excruciating and long-term pain it caused their loved ones, and I'm specifically responsible:
- for conspiring to kill whoever was present at the crime scenes.
- for my foolish and reckless choices to follow Manson's orders.
- for climbing a pole to cut the phone wires on the first night.
- for shooting and stabbing Steven Parent and Jay Sebring to death.
- for tying Jay Sebring and Sharon Tate around the neck together with the rope over a beam.
- for kicking Voytek Frykowski and stabbing him to death.
- for stabbing Abigail Folger and Sharon Tate to death, thus Paul Richard, Sharon's unborn child died.
- for tying up and stabbing Leno & Rosemary LaBianca to death.
- for carving WAR on Leno's stomach after he was dead.
- for demanding money from the victims both nights.
- for giving directions to the women, while carrying out the crimes.
Steven Parent was only 18 years old, heading out to college in the fall, and working two jobs to pay for it. I'm certain he would have graduated, gotten married and had children and even grandchildren by now at 70 years old. His parents, Wilfred and Juanita, and his siblings, Janet, Greg, and Dale were left with a hole in their hearts, crying as a family in bed together. I deplore my callousness, which caused a tremendous emptiness, sadness, and anger, plus the financial cost of burying a son and a brother.
Jay Sebring (35), born Thomas Kummer, was a dear friend to many celebrities in Hollywood and San Francisco where he owned hair salons. His father and mother, Bernard and Margarette, and his brother Fred and wife Mary, and two sisters were traumatized, and emotionally shocked, struggling to depend on God's grace for help. Through the years, the pain I caused passed to their children (one being Anthony), and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, for example, a picture of Manson showed up on a student's T-shirt at school, causing much grief. My actions help put Manson's face on that shirt, which is a disgrace.
Voytek Frykowski (32) was educated in Poland to work in the film industry. He was a big brother, and a father. His parents, Jan and Teofila, as well as Jerry his younger brother were devastated spiritually and emotionally, especially Voytek's 10 year old son, Bartek, who cried his eyes out when they received the news. I took their hopes and dreams as a family, severing relationships, and sending family and friends into severe depression.
Abigail Folger (25) was a debutante, socialite, volunteer social worker like her mother, a civil rights devotee, and coffee heiress. Her death at my hands was a tragedy for her family and friends. Her parents, Peter and Inez were left lonely, heartbroken, and socially withdrawn, while her brother and sister, Peter and Elizabeth were confused with an emptiness left in their hearts, because of my foolish choices and monstrous actions.
Sharon Tate (25) was 8 months pregnant with her son Paul Richard. I took both their lives, showing no mercy, devastating her husband Roman, and Paul and Doris, her father and mother, plus her sisters, Patricia and Deborah. Sharon was a devoted wife, daughter, and sister, the center of her family. I took not only her motherhood, but her future roles as an actress. I took Roman's wife and child, and her parents' grandson, and sisters' nephew, causing an unimaginable emptiness, depression, and anger, which may have resulted in stress-related illnesses for her family.
Leno LaBianca (44), and Rosemary LaBianca (38) were enjoying their second marriages until I took their lives. Leno's father had passed away years ago, but his dear mother Corina, and sisters, Emma and Stella, plus Alice, his ex-wife, and their three children, Corina Jane, Anthony Carl, and Louise were devastated, experiencing extreme pain, and anger for my actions. Rosemary's parents and three brothers were equally shocked, along with Frank, her former husband, and their children, Suzan and Frank Jr. My actions caused Rosemary's children and grandchildren to experience a tremendously painful life, saddened, withdrawn, and socially isolated to this day.
I so deeply regret choosing to commit these crimes, and for causing this enormous pain; mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially, and financially. As often said, "No parent should have to bury their children," nor hear from the Press that in some way it was their loved one's fault. It was "I" that took their dreams, visions for life, a lifetime of experiences for all, hugs and kisses, childhoods, school and graduations, marriages, and children, vacations, and family reunions for which I apologize to the victims, and their families and friends. I replaced all their joys of life with funerals - unbearable grief, while life went on for me. I am so deeply sorry! (See Victim's Remembrance).
I apologize also:
- to those who discovered the bodies those two dreadful mornings, who were terrified and suffered emotionally,
- to those who responded to the crime scene, police, detectives, and coroner,
- to the taxpayers, especially to the City of Los Angeles, and its' people who went into hiding in their homes with added security,
- to society at large around the world, who suffered because of my actions,
- to my family and friends, who I have shocked, causing great pain, and
- to former Manson family followers for the pain and negative effect I have caused their lives.
I'm sorry that I wasn't a man of strong character and authority to make better choices and decisions, like I am today. Instead, I left a multitude of questions that can never be answered satisfactorily, since the crimes were so senseless. The agony the victims have endured does not go away, because they are always left wondering, Why?
Why The Crimes?
My disobedience to my church-going parents started at age 15, telling them where I was going instead of asking them. I'd drive to the bootlegger instead of the Dairy Queen. My pride and greed knew better than them. My lust enticed me, while envy told me that I didn't measure up. Gradually, the fear of failure caused resentments and pent-up anger, soon turning into laziness and a guilt-ridden teenager, medicating his pain.
I was separated from God, experiencing all the effects. Following a fraternity brother out West, I moved to California to complete my senior year in college. Actually, I was running from my fears, spiraling downward, making all the wrong choices, working and playing instead of studying: drinking, having sex, and eventually dropping out of college while looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places.
I found triggers at every turn, making one compulsive choice after the other. My lack of spiritual knowledge left me powerless over temptation, causing emotional insecurity, and not accountable to anyone, until I met Manson. Through my own self-deception, I allowed myself to be gradually radicalized by his delusional beliefs, while trying to find significance, with no goals of my own.
For years, I had looked for approval from others for a sense of worth and happiness, something other people couldn't truly give me -- classic codependency. The "family" shared the same mind, the stronger dominating the weaker, especially while on mind-altering drugs. I chose to ingest "speed" before the crimes, dulling my conscience, and putting myself into a diabolical state of mind, driven by a dark-animalistic spirit of fear. (See Why The Crimes? for more insight).
Throughout my childhood, I appeared to be an All-American boy, excelling in school, scouts, football, basketball, and track & field, receiving many accolades. But underneath the surface, I was suffering from an inability to handle fear and anxiety due to academic pressure from an early age. I was a hard worker (taught to save for college from birth), but I was somewhat a lazy student. I grew to resent my parents for mapping out my life. The more my older siblings succeeded, the greater my fear of failing. I began to experience hurts (unmet needs), frustrations (unmet expectations), and insecurities throughout high school, being the only child left in the nest.
I based my identity, worth and acceptance upon my performance, releasing my anger through sports, and medicating my pain with alcohol, sex, and fast driving. I had no idea these were developing character defects, and together with causative factors (people, places, and things) would lead to the contributing factors of crime. For August 1969, they were delusional beliefs, cultist associations, drugs (speed), fear of rejection (guilt & shame), self-centeredness, negative self-talk, and pent-up anger behind the weapons were regretfully the driving force.
Specifically, I was led to believe that I owed Manson a favor. I felt I needed to prove my loyalty to him and the family by bending to his will. He knew that I was guilt-ridden and vulnerable to manipulation, and felt responsible for his happiness, and therefore would be easy to convince. It was all linked to my deep sense of failure and inadequacy that always haunted me. I struggled terribly with perfectionism, feeling I had to be faultless in order to be accepted, which I found to be a lie through my recovery process. (See more in-depth insight on the site, Insights Into My Behavioral Change, noting My Behavioral Exchange chart).
Addressing My Issues...
After the crimes, it didn't take long for me to see that my delusional beliefs weren't coming to pass as the motive for the crime. There wasn’t a black and white race war where the blacks would kill off "whitie", and they'd asked Manson to be their leader. I was the fool, who lacked judgment or good sense, not thinking of the consequences, since the world as we knew it was coming to an end.
In turmoil with no place to hide, I turned myself into the Sheriff, after he came looking for me at my parents home where I was staying in Texas. My recovery began on November 30, 1969, when I came face to face with resentments, blaming, and anger towards my parents for no justifiable reason. They were not my enemy – sin, bitterness and pent-up anger were. My mother became instrumental for me to address my issues.
Here are six (6) ways that I have addressed my issues (See: Life Learning for a complete file).
- Sought help at CMC-E in '72, from the late Dr. Barkley, who introduced me to group therapy and counseling, concerning "why?" He comforted a young man, who was looking for answers.
- Attended Rational Behavior Training and Anger Control group therapy sessions (Cognitive Behavior Modification) with the late Dr. Orling for over a year ('83- '84), challenging my thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions from the 60s, and replacing them with healthy ones.
- Attended Stress Management and Relaxation therapy groups with Dr. Elam for a year ('83-'84), learning muscular and breathing techniques that I still use today for holistic health, during stressful times.
- Attended Communication Skills, Self-Esteem & Assertiveness, and Reality & Decision Making for nine months ('85), discussing my passivity that brought me to prison, developing a new assertive identity, and recognizing the costs and benefits in decision making, plus the consequences of bad choices.
- Attended Substance Abuse therapy groups with Dr. Letcher for two years ('85-'86), where I explored my drug use: my history, the reasons, the pain, and dangers, plus the victims of crimes, caused by those on drug
- Attended Process Oriented Psychotherapy with Dr. Elam for seven months ('86), and 3 years of individual therapy with Dr. Tolchin discussing the "why" question, and personal challenges ('87-'90).
- Attended Personal Adjustments Techniques with Dr. Gard in '95, where I was taught how the grief process applies to prisoners, and I was able to use it for future references, when struggling with regrets.
After becoming a born-again Christian in May 1975, I joined a group called Yokefellows, based on Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus said: "Come to Me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light." He was speaking to me!
- The Dynamic Prison Church was raised up at CMC-E in '76, to reach hundreds of men through Yokefellows, Chapel Leadership Training, and Christian studies. The purpose was to bring healing through forgiveness. I began renewing my mind, finding acceptance and significance through humbling myself to God, resisting temptation, growing emotionally, and overcoming false beliefs. It was the beginning of my Christian journey, through recognizing my giftings.
Charles sitting at his office desk in 1977, ministering in the CMC-E chapel.
- Spirit, Soul and Body studies were designed to explain the three-part man. I learned how the power of the Holy Spirit heals our Soul (mind, will and emotions), and then brings health to the Body. Through this holistic approach, I was able to be transformed from the inside out.
- Spiritual Soul Analysis is a Spiritual CBT course and worksheet to help evaluate irrational thoughts and self-talk during an event by slowing down the process through questions, concerning one’s thoughts, and replacing them with rational ones, resulting in a different emotional outcome. I was able to bring CBT as a tool from the psychology department to the Christian community, with the blessings of a Christian
- The Christian 12 Step is A.A. with Christ as the higher power. The steps are identical to A.A. from "The Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey" workbook. For over 20 years, I helped facilitate hundreds of men and myself through spiritual healing and recovery. I find The Twelve Steps to be the perfect tool for sharing one’s faith in a prison setting.
- The Christian's Toolbox is the place in our hearts where we have all of the God-given tools that were lacking in my life for building acceptance, significance and security. These fifteen (15) tools have been instrumental in changing my life through applying them daily to keep me built up in faith. For instance, my acceptance is based on what God thinks of me, not others, overcoming childhood guilt and shame.
- Mending The Body is an evangelism tool used to share one’s faith, though serving the men in the housing units and yards. It consists of helping them with their spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs. It has taught me to give of my time, and be less self-centered through serving others.
- Christian Book Studies such as Counseling God's Way, Escape from Codependent Christianity, How to Stop the Pain, Breaking the cycle, Deadly Emotions, Overcoming Emotions that Destroy, and others were taught after becoming instrumental to my growth. I've learned life skills from these authors, who I greatly admire, and to forgive myself for what God has already pardoned.
- Celebrate Recovery is a faith-based recovery group that leads to healing a persons' hurts, habits, and hang-ups. In these groups, I was able to address the negative lifestyle of drugs, alcohol and other addictions. I was able to gain new insights, such as a greater compassion for those from dysfunctional families.
- My Christian Charts and Illumination Bible Charts booklet are visual teachings for Bible study and Recovery groups. I was led to put these together over the years for my insight, believing they would help others understand Spiritual truths as well, for instance:
|My Personal Recovery Chart
The Cycle of Progressive Sin
The Cycle of Progressive Healing
Harnessing Your Emotions
|We Are What We Think
Spiritual Soul Analysis
The Law of Sin & Death
The Law of the Spirit of Life
- My Christian Books and Brochures were written throughout my recovery to reach those in need of recovery too. They helped to explore my past, and to put into words my insight for passing along to others.
- Office Machine Repair ('87-'90)
- Data Processing ('90-'92)
- Christian Leadership Training ('75 - present)
I hope you can respect that sharing my recovery has become my sole vocation and calling in life to help others recover too.
- North Texas University ('64-'67)
- Cal Poly University ('84)
- Cuesta College ('84-'85)
- Chapman College ('86- '87)
- California Coast University ('09-'10)
(Graduated, B.S. in Business Management)
Finally, I was able to make my parents proud, though they did not live to see it. I determined to finish college for myself.
- Zig Ziglar's "See You At The Top" group ('85)
- Vital Issues Project group ('90)
- A. 12 Step group ('89-'90)
- Marriage & Family group ('92)
- A Framework for Recovery ('96)
- Improving Relationships ('97)
- Personality & Relationships ('98)
- Victim Awareness Offender Program ('09-'17)
- Conflict Resolution ('12)
- Houses of Healing ('12-'17)
- Self-Awareness & Recovery (SAR) ('12-'17)
- The Four Agreements ('13 - '14)
- How to Cope with Depression (CGA '13)
- Impact of Crime (CGA '13)
- 12 Wisdoms of CGA ('13)
- Spiritual Principles (CGA '13)
- Life Skills (CGA '13)
- Anger Management (CGA '14)
- Defects of Character (CGA '14)
- Domestic Violence (CGA '14)
- A. 12 Step group ('19-'21)
These self-help groups have added great value to my recovery, especially the Victim Awareness Offender Program (VAOP), and the Houses of Healing book/group, where I was led to create a chart, so that men could better understand the powerful concept.
6. LONG TERM OFFENDER PROGRAM (LTOP):
- Criminal Thinking (3/18-6/18)
- Substance Abuse (SUDT) (7/18-2/19)
- Anger Management (3/18-6/18)
- Family Relations (3/18- 11/18)
- Victim's Impact (3/19-6/19)
For the past half-century, I have been in recovery, without relapsing once. I believe, "... if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). I'm not boasting in myself, but in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has set me free from the bondage that once held me captive. He made me a new creation by transforming my life from the inside out!
Lastly, as you know, the crime themselves will never change, but I have. They will always demand justice, for someone to pay the price, but I believe there is more to be considered in light of God’s grace. Our heavenly Father says that He requires three (3) things of us, that is, " ... to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before the Lord" (Micah 6:8). That's what it will take to set me free physically, for mercy and humility to meet together and reign in the hearts of those who are in authority. I pray simply for God's will to prevail, thank you!